Diary of A Mad, Interesting Woman

Welcome to the random (and sometimes ratchet) ramblings in my head about life, love and pop culture.

Tag: growing up

What I Know For Sure

Birthday Reflections & Ish Like That …

So … #ThisIs38

A few years ago I was included in the “What I Know For Sure” section of O Magazine and I shared perspective on not being defined by the roles we lead (i.e. mother, sister, daughter, etc.), but prioritizing and nourishing your individual spirit and soul in order to be the best you can for everyone else (and I’m paraphrasing in case some of yall are still holding on to your copies). As I learned recently at #Blogalicious9, “you can’t pour from an empty cup.” Hallelujah and moment of silence for that little piece of wisdom …

Today is my born day (one time for #ScorpioSeason) and I can’t help but consider what I know for sure at this point in life. Seems that I’ve recently been involved in lots of deep conversation with girlfriends, my Hubby Honey, my Mama, my Boss and others about the lessons I’ve learned and the level of “sureness” I feel cloaked in these days. More important, it wasn’t a magical occurrence that just happened to me. My “sureness” is the result of intent. I’m living my life like its golden and operating within a level of freedom that I don’t think I’d ever experienced before now. I made the choice to be happy, to believe in myself and to throw a (metaphorical, and at times, tangible) middle finger to distractions. I’m living a life that I’m proud of and truth defined by me and only me. I. Am. So. Free.

As I celebrate this 38th *ahem* year of my life, here’s what I know for sure:

  • I no longer require any form of external validation to inspire or empower my internal thoughts, beliefs or ideas. For years, naturally, I sought approval from my friends, needed my lover(s) to assure me that I’m pretty, needed my managers to validate my smart thinking and my family to champion my tireless role as protector and provider. The expectation and necessity of the validation was so subtle that it took me a long time to pinpoint it was there. It drove me to seemingly inconsequential insecurity that metastasized into anger and resentment when I didn’t receive it. I finally decided I don’t need it. It was a cross too heavy to bear. Removing the focus from receiving my validation externally and empowering that positive energy inside has been likely one of my greatest rites of passage as a woman. Doing so has created this powerful level of self-awareness, self-love and self-confidence. It’s been one of my wisest intentional moves.

  • I’ve created healthy boundaries (for the most part) in my personal and professional relationships. For example, my loved ones (which include my Hubby Honey, Parents, Siblings, Girlfriends and extended family) are my lifeblood. In this life, it has been a privilege, and at times, a burden to serve them. It’s cost me peace of mind more often than I can reasonably quantify and I realized that it is 100 percent MY FAULT. We show people how to treat us, and too often, we operate within our familiar roles at unsustainable levels. Your loved ones don’t intend to overstep or abuse your over-commitment, but it happens. And it was happening to me. A LOT. So, I took a step back about three years ago and began to redefine my role, my expectations, my preferred level of commitment and the healthy level of reciprocity I needed within my familiar relationships. Doing so has freed me to support my loved ones absent of guilt, resentment, fear or worry. And, if someone doesn’t agree with my level of interaction or commitment, I leave that as a cross for them to bear. Cause as my Nik Nak taught me long ago – “What you eat don’t make me sh*t”. Word.

  • My heart is big. My tongue is sharp. My patience is thin. I’m extremely passionate (a true Scorpio). And, I’m funny as hell. I used to be reticent to say that about myself because it felt obnoxious to speak it, but no more. *picks up megaphone* I’M FUNNY AS HELL! Maybe not stand-up comedian funny, but I’ve been known to draw a crowd and bring down the house. #realtalk … my inner spirit is doing THIS most of the time …

Moving on …

  • I have a new found spiritual connection to my sexuality and pride in my body image that has skyrocketed my confidence. It’s not JUST about my looks (though your girl is killing it these days with this snatched waistline and size back to what I was in high school *hair flip*), but rather my internal confidence, keen self-awareness, my energy and this connection to a sense of … “knowing” about myself. My Grandma Mable used to say to me, “One day you just gone know what you know.” I never really understood that until now. Today, I own my confidence without shame, fear, ego or vanity. It’s my truth. It’s just as real as breathing.

  • I love being a woman, and more specifically, a black woman. There’s the fun stuff about being a girl like dressing up, makeup, all things shiny and sparkly, etc. But being a black woman comes with this Herculean strength, unicorn-level magic, enviable sense of wit, epic ability to clap back and shade and multidimensional talent. I am every woman and I BAWSE up in every gawt damn aspect of my life. Boardroom, bedroom, kitchen. I cooks, Baby. While my awareness to this perspective has been slow, my pride and ownership of it is SO here and SO real for me right now. I believe its actual tangible energy that even others feel when they are with me. I’m beaming in the skin I’m in. And loving every minute.

  • My relationship with God is real and tangible. It used to feel mythical. Perhaps because it was the product of the articulation of other people’s experience with Him. Today, we have our own vibe. My Jesus is trill! He MUST be because He created me and I stay on level trill at ALL times. I can feel Him … tangibly feel Him, hear Him and sense Him in all that I do. It’s pretty incredible. There’s not a moment I’m not mindful of Him, chatting in my mind with Him and hearing His response. I’ve tapped in and He’s reciprocated in the most beautiful fashion. It’s provided a much-needed compass as I carry two of my most important roles: Wife and Mom. And it’s endeared me to Him in such a personal way. #IluhGod #youdontluhGod #whatswrongwithyou

So … here I am! Big, bad and bold AF (said in my Ike Turner “What’s Love Got to do With It” voice – LOL). Loving myself and every aspect of my journey. I regret nothing. I’m present in every moment because I don’t want to miss a thing. And with that comes a continual birth of my being … which I am SO here for.

#ThisIs38

And many mooooooooooooooooooooooooore 🙂

Love You. Mean It.

@AskThePRGirl

No Cape for Lawrence and Other Unsolicited Thoughts

Who isn’t a fan of HBO’s HIT series Insecure created by the uber funny, hella magical black girl Issa Rae?? If you haven’t watched it or know not of what I speak, a couple things:

  1. STOP reading and/or unsubscribe from my blog. Your life and the choices that lie therein are highly, highly questionable. I rebuke you in the mighty name of Jesus.
  2. That’s it. So let it be written. So let it be done.

For the rest of us who have been biting our nails in anticipation of Season Two after Issa cheated, Lawrence left (and bagged the bank teller), and Molly exemplified the REALEST actualization in girlfriendship drama (i.e. I’m not happy with myself, but I’m gone project my bullsh*t onto you so that you get mad at me, thus giving license for me to get mad at you so that I get the balls to tell you how I REALLY been feeling about you and/or your life choices and I don’t care if you mad but … wait … something happened?! Girl, I’ll be right there!), last night was a welcomed family reunion to see what we’ll learn next about our fave people.

While watching the episode, my Hubby Honey made it VERY clear that he is #TeamLawrence out in these skreets and has decided to join the brotherhood of support around this sad, sad character. And while I understand and appreciate how men are rallying to ideally support “caping” for Lawrence, there a few simple insights into why it doesn’t make sense to women (namely me and my girls) AND how it makes you look slick undesirable. But before I start, let me say:

*picks up megaphone* Issa was wrong to cheat on Lawrence! I REPEAT FOR THE CHEAP SEATS – ISSA. WAS. WRONG. When they discussed their relationship and agreed to be “all in”, it was her responsibility to honor that mutual, consensual decision and be honest about how she was feeling about the relationship. I’m saying that now before I end up having to respond to a whole bunch of foolishness. Please understand that my subsequent opinions are rooted in the fact that I believe her to be wrong. Okay??

 

HOWEVER …

  1. Lawrence left that relationship LONG before she was distracted by the unrealities of cheating. He checked out. You’re living on the couch, sulking and treating her like your maid and your Mama instead of remembering that she’s your WOMAN – a being perfectly capable of wearing those hats as needed, but irresponsible to require her to prioritize them long term. He changed the pace and vibe of the relationship and opened the door to her “distraction”. #issavibe #issayofault
  2. Good sex (aka blowing a woman’s back OUT) will make her forgive, forget and sit blindly within the most epic of tomfoolery f*ckery in a relationship. I’ve known women *ahem* to keep running behind a jobless, inconsistent, penny-less, etc., etc., man because he was literally, tangibly introducing her to Jesus, Mary, Joseph, Meshach and Abednego between them sheets at night. Why is this relevant? Because if Lawrence had been stroking and proving in the bedroom with Issa the way he did with the bank teller, PUH-LEASE believe Issa wouldn’t have cheated. Who tryna give up some good D for stability in your 20s (or early 30s)?? I don’t know that chick. The convo would go something like this:
    • Molly: Why you still fooling with Lawrence’s “can’t get off the couch”, “I need my mama” lookin ass?! Girl, if you don’t get your life and do better!
    • Issa: *stands bow-legged and wobbles* GIRL, BYE! My man is a dreamer with a LOT of untapped potential. In fact, let me go home and encourage him!
    • The. End.
  3. Lawrence didn’t fight for Issa. At all. And, he didn’t prove himself to be the type of man that can lead when the going gets tough. He’s fighting like hell right now to restore his shattered sense of manhood and make Issa hurt the way she hurt him, but he didn’t fight for himself, her, or their relationship when it mattered. I remember once that I asked my friend why she was distancing herself from a guy. She said (and I remember this like it was yesterday), “He’s all over the place. At the end of the day, I can’t trust him to lead me. I can’t trust that our future would be safe in his hands.” Women expect a man to fight for them and lead when the going gets tough. You’re human, Fellas. We get that you’re going to have down moments filled with doubt, worry, fear, disappointment, etc., and that’s okay, BUT equally important is your ability to dust off, fight and lead. When you show inability to do that, we quietly take our chips off the table. And, since you’re already running the whole “wounded bird routine”, we wouldn’t want to risk you actually slitting your wrists over a failed relationship too! So, we stay longer than we should and we lie. Why? To protect the possibility of our rebound (yes! things could get better though they rarely do once a woman has gathered her chips) and to protect what’s left of your manhood. It’s not right, but it’s real.

SO … for all of you out there SO ready to toss a cape on Lawrence and parade his ass through the city streets on your shoulders like the second coming of male pride, please take a look at the level of mediocrity you’re championing and how doing so says a LOT about the fragility of manhood.

Lawrence gets no cape. I REPEAT – Lawrence gets NO CAPE. If anything, take his ass out for a drink and talk some sense into him. Let him know that he woke up to a relationship already on life support and the demise was by his own hand. #issatruth

Love you, mean it.

(and don’t you LOVE Insecure?!?! *squeal*)

@AskthePRGirl

*all photos/gif from HBO and Giphy

#theLEMONADEeffect

bey

So … it’s been roughly five days since Queen Bey dropped #LEMONADE and completely flipped my world upside down. Am I the only one out here completely caught off guard by the levels to this sh*t?! Like … it’s day five and I’m still catching new messages, hearing new undertones and experiencing new feelings.

And let’s be clear – it’s been on REPEAT since the moment she released it. I’ve not listened to terrestrial radio, not a nan CD or iPod (yes “nan” … it’s in the urban dictionary) or satellite radio. I’ve been ALL BEYONCE, ALL DAY since Saturday, 4/23 at 10pm. And … I’m amazed. Like for real. Eff if you think Jay cheated or if she’s talking about her Mom and Dad’s story or if you think it’s marketing bullsh*t to sell records. It’s brilliant. It’s deep on the struggle. The struggle of being a woman. A woman in love. A black woman. A proud woman. Even if you think it’s bullsh*t, isn’t it crazy how it has reached deep into the belly of damn near every woman out there (including those who aren’t black) and stirred up this sense of HELL YEAH, I’M HERE?!  And YES, I might be a little crazy. And YES, I might be a little wild. And YES, I love hard. And YES, I deserve you to recognize me. See me. Hear me. Love me. Own me. Claim me. And IF you refuse to do those things, to recognize those things and be cool with them, know that I am strong enough to survive you. Strong enough to thrive beyond you. And let’s be clear, that’s not just in the context of relationships. She’s talking about life. How women are perceived at work, at home and in society. How blacks are perceived in society. And how the solution to all of this struggle, all of this strife is to see one another. Acknowledge one another. Love one another. Embrace one another and be open to the complication it brings. There is redemption to be found there. There is healing there. There is a fresh anointing there.

Levels man …

Bey showed us levels.

If you can’t see that, I’m sad for you. If you can’t hear her, I’m sad for you. Whether you’re a fan or not, you’ve got to give nod to the deep saturation of profound thought behind the lyrics. The social themes. It’s crazy!!

I’ve actually cried several times through the album. Thankful for the place and space I operate within my life, but also grieving a place and space I didn’t even realize needed to be grieved. Grieving the dry lands and constant mirages I face as a black woman in Corporate America. Grieving the loss of past love.  And then simultaneously crying joyous tears for the love and overwhelming happiness I feel daily. The redemption God has blessed me to experience. The “exceeding abundance” He’s given me in life. My family. My children. My beautiful husband. My thriving career. My girls. My guys. Not to be cliché but, “I can see clearly now, the rain is gone.” And I honestly feel like #LEMONADE bubbled it all to the surface and gave me … release. A deep sigh. A blessed recognition. I feel … seen. Heard. Not in the way I feel it with God (not trying to say that), but like someone collected every woman’s inner thoughts and emotions, and gloriously exposed our heart. Maybe that’s it. It’s a crazy take on a new age love note. One to us. One to this country. One to our loves (past, current and future). I dunno … I’m still processing.

Levels …

Welcome to the world of a woman. A black woman. And while the struggle is real, the journey is beautiful. Complicated. Necessary. And this my friends, is the #theLEMONADEeffect.

#selah

Love you. Mean it.

AskThePRGirl

just a kid

I’ve worked really hard in my career to reach a certain title. I’ve literally been blinded by nothing but TITLE for the last three to four years. And now that I have it, I have no idea what to do next. I’m not even sure I’m happy or fulfilled with it. Standing in these shoes […]

Unconditional Love

Pic of us

One of the longest, most intimate, time-consuming, ridiculous, heart-wrenching and powerful relationships in my life is with a woman … and I’m not talking about my Mother.  Actually two women.  For nearly 20 years, I have been in love with two women.  They have been my road dogs, my confidents, my diary, my sounding board, my fashion advisors, my edifiers, my good times, my shoulder to cry on and my “do you remember that time when …” partners.  We have experienced just about everything you can possibly imagine and we’ve done it all together.  Men have come and go.  Jobs have come and go.  Other chicks that thought they understood friendship have come and go.  Through it all, we have been hopelessly committed to each other.  We made a pact years ago that no matter what comes and no matter how much it hurts, we will love each other and ALWAYS be honest with each other until the last of us takes her last breath.  We’re a tripod.  Together we’re powerful and can do anything.

No sooner than you make that level of commitment to another person, you will be tested.  It’s as if the universe, Murphy’s Law and the devil all sit down for drinks and say, “Okay. These bitches think they want to be friends for LIFE. *insert doubled over, finger pointing laughter* Well, let’s see just how bad they want it and what they’re willing to endure to have it.  Five bucks say they’ll have destroyed each other by the time we’re done with ‘em.”

In the beginning, things were good.  We argued sometimes, but we always got over it.  Hell, two of us even got into a physical fight over a broken VCR.  Chile … THAT was a day.  But, we moved on.  We always did.  We stuck together and got through the tough times as one.  Then, one day, things changed.

I fell in love.  Hard.  And my love was moving to Los Angeles for a new job.  Not only did he decide to move, but he declared and decreed that he wanted me with him.  Steve Harvey says a man shows his love by “professing, protecting and providing.”  He did ALL of that and then some.  So, I moved to California to begin my new life.  I don’t know that I fully assessed how it would affect my tripod.  I thought they’d be happy for me, and though we wouldn’t see each other as often, things wouldn’t change.  There’d be more phone calls and budgeting to fly to see each other, but we’d be fine.  Boy was I wrong.

In every relationship, there is a “star”.  The person that everything revolves around.  The person that brings the fun.  The person whose participation is necessary in order for the group to have a great time.  The person whose opinion weighs the most.  The person everyone comes to for advice and leans on for stability.  In our tripod, that person is me and I had NO idea. Well … maybe a small idea, but I don’t think I realized the responsibility that role carries.  I was off living a “fabulous” life in Los Angeles.  The other two were home missing me and feeling shredded by my decision to leave.  While they were happy for me and in awe of my bravery to follow my heart, they were also a bit disgruntled that I not only contemplated leaving, but I actually did it.  Little did they know I was completely miserable.  I missed them so much that I cried every night the first six months I was gone.  I wanted so desperately to have my love, my career, my family and my girls.  I wanted it all, but life wasn’t working out that way.  I felt like I had to be happy with only two thirds of the life I wanted.  I finally brushed away the tears and decided to move forward.  I loved my girls.  I knew that would never change.  I no longer wanted to miss present blessings wishing for something different.  I had to grow up, put my “big girl panties on” and live.

When I moved, the distance created the opportunity for negativity, judgment and resentment to creep in.  If felt like every five seconds we were in a silent fight about something stupid.  You know what a silent fight is, right?  It’s the fight you have without actually fighting.  No one actually verbalizes a hurt or disappointment.  Instead you are “chilly” with each other over the phone and smoothly throw “shade” with a chuckle and a “Girl, you know I’m just playing with you!”  Meanwhile, you’re talking to the other friend about “this bitch this” and “this bitch that”.  Yeah … there was a LOT of that happening.  And it was beginning to take it’s toll.  You could feel the shift happening though none of us wanted to consider that we were … growing apart?  Nah!  That’s not possible!  We vowed unconditional love for life, right?

Years later we (Hubby and I) finally moved back to the South.  We were all so happy because we just KNEW things were going to be just as they were before I left.  We were closer so we could see each other anytime we wanted.  We could just pick up where we left off.  Yeah … that didn’t happen.  I had a career and they had new lives.  They had introduced new friends (something I was NOT at ALL happy about).  I was married and soon to have a baby.  We weren’t in college anymore.  We were adults.  If we were going to have that close bond we once shared, it was going to take a lot of effort … effort that neither of us was willing to give.

Then, it happened.  The fight.  You knew it was coming, right?  🙂

One day (and I remember this day so clearly) I was called by one member of the tripod and told that she didn’t like my attitude.  She said I was acting “high and mighty” all the time.  She said that I was judging her and “feeling some kind of way” about her life choices.  She was tired of the shade I was throwing and wanted to put the sh*t out there.  Now, you should know that the day she decided to hit me with these headlines about her feelings, I was at the mall shopping for an evening gown because I was to be honored by an amazing organization at the Beverly Hills Hotel.  This was a HUGE moment in my life.  And she knew that.  In my mind, she ruined something very important to me to call me and tell me some sh*t that didn’t amount to much.  She wasn’t calling to tell me she was dying.  To me, and I am giving you my side at the moment, she wasn’t telling me what she was REALLY mad about.  Instead, she was creating a fight about some completely unsolvable sh*t in her head because she wasn’t brave enough to tell me what she was REALLY freaking mad about.  And. That. Pissed. Me. Off.  World War III was officially on and popping.  I was now mad at her.  She was mad at me.  Our other friend was stuck in the middle trying desperately (and failing) not to take sides.  The legs of our tripod had been kicked out and we didn’t give a damn.

We became frenemies.  We still spoke on the phone, but not as much.  We were there to support the BIG moments in each other’s lives like birthdays and child birth, but our hearts weren’t in it.  Truth be told, we only did it so that “that bitch can’t say I wasn’t there for her BIG moment”.  And what’s worse, we were tearing each other apart.  Things got bad.  Real bad.  We went from rarely speaking to total radio silence.  I was a new Mom and desperately wanted her to be a part of all of the special moments she was missing, but pride wouldn’t let me call.  Pride wouldn’t let me admit that I still needed her.  It was like one of those T.V. moments when Good and Evil pop up on your shoulder.  Good told me to call my friend because I missed her.  Apologize for hurting her and move forward.  Evil told me that this man-less, jealous bitch could kick rocks with open-toed shoes down a dirt road in KKK country.  I sided with Evil.  Ridiculous.

Though I moved on, I was in agony.  It was like someone had chopped off one of my limbs and I was feeling phantom pain from where it used to live.  Even my smile was hollow.  I was totally and completely miserable.  It was that moment I decided to let God in.  I finally got on my knees and prayed about it.  I decided to get past my sh*t, and again, grow up.  I told Him that I didn’t know how to get past my own hurt to love her unconditionally as I pledged years ago.  I didn’t know how to just let it all go and move on. So much had happened.  So many awful things had been said.  How could I possibly right the wrong?  Could we really move forward?  Unconditional love sounds good, but the work that’s required to provide it feels impossible sometimes.

After much prayer, God finally revealed to me ALL of the things I’d done to hurt my friend.  It was like a “Who’s Who” list of all my sh*t.  I was horrified.  He showed me how I’d taken her for granted.  How I’d thrown my life choices in her face and judged when she didn’t parallel her life to mine.  He showed me how I’d left her alone when I knew all she needed was a call, but I didn’t feel I had time or just didn’t feel like being bothered.  He told me (and this makes me cry even as I type this) that I’d literally broken her heart.  She needed me and I abandoned her.  I went off to my “fabulous” life in California, rubbed it in her face and never checked in on her.  When we did talk, I was passive aggressive (a skill I learned from my mother) and made things seem like she was causing our fight.   I changed and I didn’t take her along on the journey.  I “grew up” and I punished her for not being clairvoyant.  I wronged her.  I hurt her deeply and had the nerve to be angry about the way she tried to communicate it.  I valued my “moment in the sun” Beverly Hills awards ceremony over her needing me.  I turned my back, walked head high into my destiny and never looked to my side to make sure she was still with me.

When she called that day I should have dropped everything and ran to her.  Why?  Because I promised her I would.  The moment she tested that, I dropped the ball like Braylon Edwards.  I was ashamed.  So, so ashamed.  I’d charged her with the responsibility of being the friend I was unwilling to be.  I expected her to live a truth I was unwilling to accept.  I expected perfection from her, but accepted huge, gaping flaws in myself.  I’d even wrote her a letter (standing very tall on a soap box) and made the future of our friendship her decision by way of her immature, unloving choices.  Yeah, y’all.  I went there.  ALL the way there.

Long story short, I made it right.  After understanding my role in the breakdown of our relationship, I realized what was required to make it right.  It took maturity and most importantly it took humility.  I had to humble myself and be wrong.  No ifs, ands or buts.  I had to make up for all the ways I destroyed the most precious thing in my life.

I am proud to say we fixed things and we are stronger than ever.  I’ve learned how to really and truly love my friends.  I understand that loving them doesn’t mean shoving my opinions down their throat, only accepting them when they agree that I’m right or when they play into my ego of being our “star”.  Loving them is being willing to be Robin instead of Batman.  Hell, sometimes it’s being neither.  There are times when your role is to play background to the background.  Sometimes, you’re only the grip on the set of the movie and you definitely get no love during the Oscar speech: still important, but there’s no prize or acknowledgment for your contribution to the journey.  Loving them is lovingly sharing the truth they need in the moment when their spirit is open to receive it and not shoving it down their throats because “it’s the truth and she needs to hear it now!”  Even if that means not sharing the truth at all for a time and allowing them to reach it on their own.  My 20-year history with these women has taught me so much about my ability to love, but more importantly, it has been my greatest joy.  I am who I am because these women carried me to this place.  They’ve always been my safe place to land.  It’s tough to fail with that type of safety net in life.

Real, true unconditional love is the hardest love because is it a perfect love.  It’s a Godly love.  I challenge you to audit your life and find those places where you’re failing to provide it.  Once you reach an understanding of the responsibility to give it and receive it, you’ll reach … heaven.

All the best, AskThePRGirl

Tis The Season …

fam photo 2012

… to be honest.  So here it goes.

I’m not a sharer.  Let me explain before you get all “judgey”.  I promise you’ll have plenty reason to judge in a few short moments.

When I love someone I can be quite possessive of that love.  Doesn’t matter who you are. Sister, brother, friend.  I truly have an issue with allowing other people to “infiltrate” my relationships and soak love and attention that should, quite frankly, be reserved for me.  Selfish? Spoiled? Immature? Perhaps.  But I’m being really honest here.  I’m baring my soul.  I. Don’t. Share.

It’s been a sticky point in many of my relationships both male and female.  Friend and family.  While my significant others adore my adoration, I’ve been told that I communicate the sentiment of betrayal when they aren’t able to assure me that “no one can take my place”.  I don’t mean to communicate that.  I really don’t. Hell … maybe I do.  I just like things the way I like them and I like feeling special.  The loves in my life make me feel that way.  So when someone begins to take that attention or share in that special relationship that is supposed to be something reserved for me, I feel “some kind of way” about it.

Ok … even writing this I can see how bad this sounds.  I’m really not a nutcase.  I just love hard and I’ve lost enough love in my life that I hold tight – perhaps too tight – to those that are “mine”.  Here’s a recent example:

My little brothers are dating now.  It’s not abnormal.  They are adult, handsome men so it’s understandable that they would reach this point in life that they’d want to get serious with a young lady.  One brother promised his girlfriend that he would spend Christmas with her and her family this year since she spent Christmas with our family last year.  Now … that sounds like a pretty reasonable agreement, right?  But, I. Don’t. Like. It.  At. All.  I have spent EVERY Christmas with him for his entire life.  Each and every one.  And while my rational mind understands that it’s not possible to sustain that for the rest of all eternity, I don’t want to share my brother with this girl and her family.  I just don’t want to, dammit!   I want to see his face Christmas morning.  I want us to play Monopoly and watch movies and drink way too much alcohol and laugh until we pass out.  I want him to stay here with me.  I want Christmas to be the way it always has been with the people I love.  The fact that I have to share him with this girl is … just more than I can take.  I’m trying to be an adult about it, but as you can see I’m failing miserably.

Now, let’s be clear.  My brother’s girlfriend is a sweet young woman and other than the hopeless pitfalls that most young women make in relationships, she’s given few reasons to not share my brother’s affections with her.  She’s been in his life for about five years.  If I’m honest, I was terrible to her when he introduced her.  She got “the stink face” for a good three and half (possibly four) years.  Literally.  She got slapped with snide comments and I made sure that every time she was around, she understood that she was and could always be an outsider.  It was a “my brother loves me more than you and I love him more than you and you will never be able to step in and provide the level of love he needs to be the man he is to become” type vibe.  I know, I know.  I said I was being honest, you judgmental ass!!  Sorry … I’m projecting.  I take it back.  I don’t want to fight.  Let’s make up.  Ok?  Bygones.

And she took it like a champ.  She hung in there.  And finally, I began to soften.  I thought, “Why not thaw out this ice in your heart and let her in?  Why not give her a chance.  You might actually like her. She might actually be cool.”  And she is/was cool … until she asked for something that I wasn’t prepared to give: my family holiday.  At that point she plopped back into position one (i.e. stink face mode).  Did she deserve that? Absolutely not! But, I’m selfish.  I feel like she’s taking something that’s been mine for all of these years and I don’t know how to let go a little for fear that things will never be the same.  I’m afraid that this holiday is the beginning of many in which a girlfriend, quite possibly a one-day wife, takes my brother away to build new traditions with her family.  My heart can’t take that.  And though I don’t hate her, I communicate animosity to manipulate the situation to my desire because I know my brother adores me.  He would do anything to make me happy.  He would do anything to please me.

*phew*

Ok.  Now it’s out there.  So … how do I grow?  How do I convince myself that saying goodbye for one holiday doesn’t mean saying goodbye to the special bond that I have with my brother?  How do I have peace that even if one holiday turns into two or three, that the holidays we had were special and I should be proud of a man he is and respect the choices he’s making?

How?

*Sigh*

I grow up and choose it. Plain and simple.

Each year on Christmas one of our big and most important family traditions is that we give “gifts of love”.  There was a time when we didn’t have much money and couldn’t afford to purchase any gifts at all so my Mother would make us prepare a gift of the heart to share with the family.  The point is to remind us of the real reason of the season.  It’s not about the gifts.  At least not gifts you can purchase.  It’s about the greatest gift that was given long ago: Christ.  So, we would sing songs to each other, make up silly games that would include clues of love or we would simply write letters expressing how grateful we are to have each other.  It’s a tradition we continue even though we can now afford other gifts.  And even though we kids give my Mother grief about it, we all secretly cherish that we still do it

Last year, I wrote each and every family member a personal note.  I wanted them to know what their love means to me, how it has helped me grow and how it sustains me when the world chews me up and spits me out.  Because she attended, I included my brother’s girlfriend because I wanted her to know that I’d finally accepted her.  Here was my note to her:

I learned a BIG lesson this year and it was thanks in part to a tough situation shared by a friend.  Her mother-in-law is giving her and her husband HELL because she refuses to accept that she is no longer number one in his life.  Her actions are so ridiculous and more importantly extremely hurtful to her son.  As I was counseling my friend on handling her mother-in-law and supporting her husband it hit me … her mother-in-law’s actions were not very different than my own when my brother brought you into the family. For that, I am extremely sorry.  I think you are a great person and I happen to love your family very much.  We would be lucky to have you, if you marry my brother.  I promise you from this moment forward to do my very best to supply you with the respect you are due.  You are his choice, which makes you mine as well.  I love you.

I share that because recently I was given the opportunity to honor those words and I made a hard reverse.  I fell into old patterns and decided I didn’t want to give those things to her. Her audacity to take him from me on Christmas angered me and I decided she was going to pay for that choice.  So I shamed her in front of our entire family to “put her in her place”.  Why?  Because I don’t like to share those I love.  It’s uncomfortable.  It’s scary.  And dammit, I just don’t like the way it feels.  Doesn’t make it right, and it certainly isn’t mature, but it is the God’s honest truth.

So … this Christmas … exactly one year later, I vow to make it right. I vow to choose differently.  I’m going to grow up a bit and stop acting like there’s not enough love in his heart to share with us both.  I had a small hand in raising him and the same access to the valuable teachings he’s been given from our Mother so I know without a doubt that he’s mature enough to be a loving man in his relationship and still be my “Little Brown Bear”.  Not only will I make this change with him, but in all of my relationships.  I need those I love to know that they don’t have anything to prove to me.  Their love is gift enough.  No need to constantly reassure me that the love will never leave.  I will trust that love.  I will nurture that love and I will do my best to never again compromise that love.

This season, I pray that you are able to take a moment away from the holiday fanfare, the gifts, all of the good food and drinks to reflect on the things in your life you could do better.  After all … Christ died so that we could all live free.  Don’t be bound to old harmful habits, thoughts or deeds that leave you living in an existence that’s less than you deserve.  Do something different.  Be different.  Choose differently.  Do the uncomfortable thing and take the chance to grow.  Who knows?  You might just end up happy.

Happy Holidays to you and yours.  I wish you love, peace and all of the happiness your heart and hands can hold.

All the best, AskThePRGirl

Misadventures at Club Reign: 10 Reasons You KNOW You’re Too Old to [Enjoy the] Club

I’m not opposed to a fun-filled night at the club. I mean, in my day, I used to shake the club DOWN, baby. I’m talking slutty top, ample cleavage, face beat to perfection and a bad mother-”shut yo mouth” crew in tow.  I was THAT chick. I didn’t wait in line. I was the one the line watched while I entered with my crew.  I never bought drinks.  VIP access was NEVER an issue and I usually left with more than a few potential suitors to date.

And then one day, I grew up.  I graduated from undergrad, moved to Los Angeles, got a real job and started paying bills.  I didn’t club as much as I “bar hopped” (note: that’s how you know you’ve got white friends).  Every blue moon, I’d have one of “those” epic nights in Hollywood where you’re just glad you’re alive to tell the story.  Mostly, I enjoyed fine dining, quiet nights with friends and the occasional “oh I really had too many glasses of wine” morning.

So when my sister @celedon_chic came to me a few weeks ago hell bent on attending a club appearance by Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam at Reign Nightclub (@reignatlanta), I was more than apprehensive.  I don’t club anymore.  I just don’t.  I’m a professional, 33-year-old, married, mother of a two-year-old.  What possible freaking reason could I have for being at a nightclub?? I’m no longer seeking a suitor.  All my bad mother-“shut yo mouth” crew members are married, have kids, gained too much weight or just as old as I am.  I no longer even have the proper slutty gear in my closet.  It’s filled with luxury labeled suits, blouses, proper skinny jeans, ballet flats and boots: none of which belong in a club.

BUT @celedon_chic was ADAMANT.  She is a HUGE fan of Sons of Anarchy and even more so of Charlie. She follows @sutterink on twitter in hopes of learning any tiny new detail of the show, of what Charlie is doing, what happened on set, if he’s dating anyone new, if he had a hair cut, if he blinked twice instead of once while delivering a line, etc.  Hell, in her head, they are dating … he just doesn’t know it.  And anyone who knows me knows that I would do ANYTHING in this world to make @celedon_chic happy.  She’s my sissy.  My soul mate.  My love.  So, on a Saturday night though sick with the most epic case of the flu, I doped up (all over the counter stuff), put on my BEST go get ‘em dress and headed to Reign.

After waiting and waiting and waiting to catch a glimpse of Mr. Charlie, he finally appeared.  I must admit … he’s pretty cute … for a white boy *Ye shrug*.  He’s got that dirty, outlaw sorta urban thing going.  I can dig it.  I don’t know if it was worth a cold trek to a night club and over priced drinks, but I can dig it.  We rushed the stage to get as many pictures as possible and then I went to work.  I tried talking to security, stage hands, DJs (SN: I actually ended up in quite a heated twitter convo with Q100’s @jeffmilesradio because I felt he was giving special access to slutty looking chicks versus REAL fans – see my twitter page. But, I got no beef with my man Jeff.  It was a battle of wills that ended in me smiling and following him on Twitter.  I know he’s got me next time :-). Besides, how can you not love a man who’s willing to fight with you a little? It’s sexy).  In the end, we hipped, hopped, shouted and shimmied, but it wasn’t enough.  We were unable to get a personal picture with Charlie.  Apparently, he went next door to Vanquish and was much more hospitable.  To his credit, it looks like Vanquish set out a much more fan-friendly atmosphere.  Reign was a zoo.  Literally.  Lots of people staring, taking pictures and waiting for any slight movement from the caged animal.  No bueno.

While driving home and laughing about the night with my Sissy, It hit me.  I’m too old for this sh*t.  I’m just … too old.  I used to have the juice, but I don’t have it anymore.  10 years ago we would’ve gotten that picture with Charlie AND partied with him in HIS private VIP area at Vanquish because I was clearly not the chick you said no to.  Today, I’m just another lady at the club.  There’s nothing incredibly special about me other than the fact that I’m still hot (for 30+) … hmpf … you better ask somebody :-).

And so to save you the trouble of experiencing a night like mine, I thought I’d offer 10 Reasons You Know You’re Too Old to [Enjoy the] Club.  Bible.  Take my word for it.  If you can identify with any number of these points, it’s time to give that old tube top in the back of your closet to the Goodwill and settle for “Girls Night Out” at a friends house with wine and nice cheese.

Here you go:

  1. You’re sober when you arrive.
  2. You’re sober when you leave.
  3. A mid-floor “So You Think You Can Dance” / “Who Got Served” dance competition breaks out which renders you speechless
  4. All of the dancing black guys think they’re Usher … or maybe Justin Bieber. And they are not. (That sh*t isn’t cute, but the young chicks EAT IT UP)
  5. You forget to wear your slutty outfit. (Probably because you no longer have one)
  6. You forget that slutty is the point. Period.
  7. You notice that the drinks are hella expensive and super watered down.
  8. You can’t talk or cute or flirt your way into VIP. You literally have that conversation from Knocked Up with security. See here ——> (http://youtu.be/HEfiG63zv1g)
  9. Instead of dancing with the drunk, young chick that has zeroed in on you, you’re slick nervous that this bitch is one Rihanna-inspired move away from throwing up on you.
  10. The only dude who wants to dance is chubby, Asian and doing the Gangnam Style. Not good. EPIC fail.

BONUS: You forgot that no line outside the club is a bad thing.

Should I choose to EVER go clubbing again, you can rest assured that I’m going on some Jay-Z, 30 is the new 20 VIP sh*t … show these kids what money and class looks like in the club.  Ya heard me?

XO, AskThePRGirl